Aug 27, 2007

New Jersey Wastewater Plant Fined $30,000

The government agency that operates Bergen County's wastewater treatment system in New Jersey has been fined $30,000 for emitting too much sulfur, in addition to other permit violations.

According to The Record, the Bergen County Utilities Authority plant in Little Ferry, N.J., exceeded its sulfur limit of 0.3 parts per million during five months in 2006, with amounts ranging from 87 to 640 parts per million. Sulfur emissions are dangerous because they can contribute to acid rain.

The plant is also being penalized for missing deadlines for installing a new continuous emissions monitoring system and for performing certain tests of its emissions stacks.

Regardless of the fine, the plant does not have plans to cut emissions. Instead, the treatment plant has received permission from state regulators to continue emitting a higher level of sulfur than was originally allowed. The plant will also appeal the decision and have the fine reduced.

Michael Williams, the plant's manager of permits and regulatory authority, told The Record that the sulfur-emissions limit set in that permit would have required expensive upgrades that the plant did not consider necessary, especially since the limit was below the level the DEP allowed for similar plants.

The treatment plant also plans to install a continuous emissions monitoring system at the plant by September in order to avoid receiving another violation.

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